The Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (MERLN) strives to maintain a leading position in the field of biomedical engineering by combining creative research with training an interdisciplinary generation of scientists. MERLN’s activities operate at the interface of biology and engineering and aim to maximise outreach at the level of public involvement, development, and the commercialisation of research. MERLN’s vision is based on sharing knowledge, infrastructure, and ambition.
Research at MERLN is focused on developing novel and challenging technologies to advance the field of tissue and organ repair and regeneration. The strategy focuses on the development of “smart” biomaterials to facilitate tissue repair in the body, the fabrication of 3D constructs for tissue growth out of the body, the self-assembly of cells, and the creation of lab- and organ-on-a-chip devices. The primary focus of the research activities is on connective tissue repair and regeneration.
MERLN’s scientists are involved in educational activities within different undergraduate and graduate programmes. Their expertise lies in biology, materials science, and engineering, with emphasis on biomedical applications including regenerative medicine.
“In 2004 we discovered – quite by accident – that the special surface of certain materials can prompt cells in the body to make bone. That was a Eureka moment.”
"Intelligently designed synthetic biomaterials that can regulate the regeneration of damaged organs and tissues in the body are the future of regenerative medicine. Indeed, we need creativity in materials science and engineering to make regenerative strategies affordable for everybody."
“If we can regenerate bones in such a way that the patient starts moving normally again, this will have beneficial effects for all the other organs. Healthy bones mean better health for the patient and thus healthier aging.”
RegMed XB is the new institute for regenerative medicine
Researchers at the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine at Maastricht University have developed a smarter method for growing human tissues in laboratories. This method cleverly stimulates the natural self-organising capacity of stem cells to form complex tissues.
Clemens van Blitterswijk, professor of Complex Tissue Regeneration at Maastricht University, has been awarded the most prestigious European research grant for individual researchers: the ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.